The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will be the first ever front-wheel drive BMW, ending the company’s long time rear-wheel drive elitism. Check to see if hell has frozen over, and if pigs can fly, because you heard that correctly, BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer will be front-wheel drive.
Before reaching for the nearest torch and pitchfork, perhaps it is best to look a little deeper into the newest Ultimate Driving Machine. After all, front-wheel drive cars have been improving massively in the past few years (take a look at universally admired hatchbacks like the Ford Focus ST, for example). Could a front-wheel drive BMW really be such a bad thing?
The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will officially be BMW’s first production front-wheel drive vehicle. Off the bat, the 2 Series Active Tourer looks to be a bit of a mixed bag. It’s not quite compact, too big to be a hatchback, and certainly a stretch from the lineup of rear-drive 2 Series models currently on sale. What the 2 Series Active Tourer can most accurately be described as is a people carrier, a close relative to the minivan.
Of the three available engines, the standard 218i Active Tourer will feature a 1.5 liter three-cylinder producing 136 horsepower, connected to a 6-speed manual transmission. The top-spec 225i Active Tourer will get a substantial bump to 231 horsepower, along with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. Even with the front-wheel drive layout, the 225i will get from 0-60 in a brisk 6.6 seconds, with a top speed of 149 mph - not too shabby for a four-cylinder, front-wheel drive people carrier. The third engine choice will be a diesel, with 150 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque, and most importantly, achieving the highest fuel economy rating for the 2 Series Active Tourer.
The styling of the 2 Series Active Tourer utilizes BMW’s famous kidney grilles in the front, but aside from that, it looks as though the Active Tourer could be made by nearly any manufacturer. It isn’t particularly good or bad, but seems to lack any passion or soul. In one of BMW’s press photos, the 2 Series Active Tourer is parked next to a cow, and quite frankly, neither looks entirely out of place in each others’ presence.
As an entry into the more upscale German brands, the 2 Series Active Tourer will act as a stepping stone into the premium market. It might not have the presence of an executive sedan, but if it drives anything like a BMW should, the 2 Series Active Tourer could be the first of many front-wheel drive BMW vehicles.